Why do you ask?
When I work from home, my agenda for the day typically includes several home-related tasks or errands. A trip to Target at lunch. Running a load of laundry. You get the idea. All of these things take place in the time I would ordinarily spend dicking around on the internet in the office, (I am just so productive at home!) Anyway, today’s to-do list included getting my car washed. We’re leaving my car at the house for my mom to use this weekend (for car seat reasons) and it was beyond time to get it thoroughly cleaned out.
So off I went!
In the wonderful tradition of me, I managed to play out a mini-drama while I was at it.
I pulled into the local car wash chain and surveyed the options, having my first dilemma of the day. You see, I am a pansy when it comes to car related things (again linking to this because it explains everything) and while I knew that the interior of my car really, really needed a thorough cleaning, having it cleaned would also mean dealing with such terrifying tasks as choosing a slot to pull into and interacting with the attendant. In my car! About my car! And exiting my car!! GASP!! So I pulled into the longest line, thinking that would give me plenty of time to mentally debate whether I had the guts to get a full cleaning or not.
To my horror, the occupants of the cars ahead of me either (a) had their shit together enough to know exactly what they wanted or (b) did not have as much anxiety about this purchase as I did. Regardless of which option it was, the line dwindled quickly until it was my turn far too soon and I blurted out the first option – the full cleaning – and pulled away. Whew. Crisis averted. I congratulated myself on navigating that minefield and girded my loins for the real battle: getting my interior cleaned out.
Now, I know – I KNOW – it’s not that big of deal. You find an empty spot, pull into it, hop out, and the rest is taken care of. The problem is that I constantly worry about the unspoken-ness of it all. There are rules, rules which are not stated, and what if I break those rules? What if I’m not supposed to use this spot? What if the attendant that is here isn’t actually the one for my wash? Do I tell someone my car’s here to be cleaned? Do I just wait off to the side? Do I wait inside? Do I take my keys with me? Plus, being in my vehicle just adds a extra layer of visibility that I’m not up for.
Anyway – geez Belle, is there a point to this story? – I hopped out of my car and staked claim to a nearby bench, firing up the latest game on my phone and that was about when I remembered that I didn’t have any cash on me. Zero cash. No back-up five or random one hanging about. I went through all of the pockets and folds of my wallet – naddah. I did have a solitary gold coin in my car, but that’s it. I lamented to Luffy via text that I was the world’s worst human before realizing that I was sitting right next door to a giant gas station. CASH BACK!! I could get CASH BACK if I bought something.
I hesitated for a minute, paralyzed by fear over leaving my car unattended (what if they got done and I wasn’t there?????) and then literally took off running for the gas station. Grabbing a soda from their fridge, I headed to the front.
“Do you still provide cash back if I pay with a debit card?” I asked the cashier.
“No, but there’s an ATM outside if you’d like,” she helpfully replied and then asked me if I’d still like the soda.
“Sure,” I quipped and explained that I was trying to get cash for a tip for the car wash next door.
I hit up the ATM on my way out, almost blowing the entire transaction because the very first option was to withdraw $200. Which, holy smokes, why is that the very first option? Do people routinely pull $200 in cash out of the gas station ATM’s? Why was the option for a measly $20 way down at the very bottom, behind all sorts of other ridiculous options like $400 or $300? So many questions, but it didn’t matter because I had my cash! I had my twenty dollar bill! I had my tip! ….. Oh, right. My tip. I most certainly did not want to leave $20 as a tip and the gas station wouldn’t break my fresh bill for me.
I walked back to the car wash with my ice cold soda and my crisp twenty and lamented to Luffy – again! more! – that I didn’t have tipping cash. After all that!
It’s times like these where I really sometimes wonder why Luffy puts up with me. And can I claim that I am an intelligent human being when I am routinely befuddled by the most simple of problems? Is overthinking issues an actual problem? Because I think I have it.
Why don’t you buy a pack of gum? Luffy asked me, when I told him the gas station wouldn’t break my twenty because I wasn’t buying anything because I had already bought something. Oh yeah, that would have been a good idea, said my brain.
Since I was already back on my bench, I yet again debated the decision to abandon my car and head back to the gas station, but I did. I couldn’t let this situation get the best of me, not when I had come so far. So back I went, to get into an even longer line this time, to buy gum. To break my twenty. That I got here just moments ago.
The cashier gave me a confused look when I got to the front but it dawned on her pretty quickly what I was doing.
“My problem solving skills aren’t always the sharpest,” I joked, as I waited for my change.
But! I managed to leave with a five that was more suited for a tip and I got back to the car wash before the attendant was done with my car so I got to avoid those particular disaster scenarios playing out in my head. She finished a couple of minutes after I got back and I was very relieved to be able to hand her my hard-earned tipping cash in exchange for my immaculately cleaned car.
All in all, procuring cash for a tip last minute is an excellent way to pass the time while you wait for your car to be cleaned. 10/10 would recommend.